Football

Zola urges fans to get behind the Hammers

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West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola has insisted he would not walk away from Upton Park despite the entire staff being asked to take a pay cut.

Zola was angry at the timing of co-owner David Sullivan's revelation salaries would have to be slashed to get the Hammers' £60million wage bill down to manageable levels.

Zola, who was handed a £1.9million-a-year contract when he joined the club 17 months ago in his first managerial position, pleaded for the West Ham fans to get behind his team and said: "I am what I am and I believe in what I do and I think we can produce good results.

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"I had a plan and a project. It's not about money."

He added: "I am too connected and tied up to the players. I have a relationship with them and the supporters. I do not like to leave a situation unfinished. The players are focused on the job.

"I am not here for the money. Last year when I signed a contract I didn't even know how much I was going to earn.

"It is about working for something positive. I have always enjoyed working for this club. The money was something that came after."

On Sullivan's wage-cut plan being revealed in the media Zola said: "It would have been better to talk to us before talking to a newspaper. That is my feeling. I think the article should have been done at another time, not just before a match."

Zola did not rule out taking a cut and maintained he would discuss the matter with the owners, but he rejected Sullivan's claims he might be "too nice" to be successful.

And he fired a warning to the co-owners when he said: "I am a person of principles and I am not going to allow anybody to walk on my principles."

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
West Ham United

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